Friday, May 27, 2011

back to boot camp.

West Kei top, Citizens of Humanity jeans, Qupid wedges, Curly in the City clutch, American Eagle aviators, Merona watch, Chanel earrings, Essie nail polish in Big Spender

Just as I love pieces which can translate easily between seasons, I'm a big fan of trends that do the same. Since my obsession with military-inspired pieces last fall, I've been searching for ways to bring the look into summer. When I spotted this charming, floaty little army-green tee, I knew I had a good start. It pairs easily with shorts, jeans, and skirts, and the shoulder detail is so fun. And the look is perfection when topped off by this oversized clutch made by the ridiculously talented Taylor of Curly in the City -- which I've been carrying absolutely EVERYWHERE lately.

Wishing you all a happy and safe Memorial Day weekend -- I'll see you on Wednesday!
xo Josie

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

get the look -- tribal-print dresses.
ATTAINABLE: Many Belles Down YMCA Orange Skirt; retail $41
I love prints that are unexpected during certain seasons. This skirt screams summer, but the leaf print feels fresh and is light enough that the piece doesn't slide into fall territory. The punchy orange color helps, of course. How perfect would this be with nude wedges and a simple cardigan? So chic.

Speaking of my deep devotion to pretty prints, I'm decidedly obsessed with all things tribal-printed right now -- especially floaty, flirty dresses. Each tribal-printed frock feels so unique, and they inspire me to toss on an excess of chunky wood jewelry, flat sandals, and an oversized bag and run around looking utterly fabulous.

Parker Print Batwing Dress
EXTRAVAGANCE: Parker Print Batwing Dress; retail $253
I love this dress if for no reason other than that I can only imagine it would be like wearing highly fashionable pajamas. It looks so floaty and ridiculously comfortable, but I love that the shape is still incredibly chic. And between the bold red shade and the perfect horizontal tribal print, it's sufficient to say that I'm totally enamored by this dress.
DEAL: Forever21 Fab Watercolor Tribal Print Dress in Blue/Aqua (also in Pink/Purple); retail $10.50
I have to admit, there's rarely a time when I don't turn to Forever21 for incredible deals on fun, trendy pieces. And this dress definitely fits the bill. I love that the print looks clean but is still tribal-inspired. Both colors are adorable. The cut is chic and flattering. And at $10.50, it's an absolute steal.$detail-item$
EXTRAVAGANCE: Free People Crosswords Maxi Tube Dress; retail $268
As a general rule, I'm not a fan of maxidresses. I love the ethereal look, but I just find them to be so unflattering on my short frame. However, I'm crazy-obsessed with this one. Maybe it's how the frock is styled with the brown belt or the perfect cutout back. Regardless, this flowing blue-and-white tribal-print dress is true perfection.
DEAL: MINKPINK Tribal Tunic Tank; retail $79
You can't beat a perfectly draped tank dress when summer is approaching. This one has such a fun, eye-catching tribal print, and I love, LOVE easy shape and draped pockets. This would be adorable with a pair of denim leggings or belted on its own with a pair of metallic gladiator sandals. So globally chic.

Will YOU be rocking the tribal print this summer?
xo Josie
Thanks to Lulu's, Shopbop, Forever21, Free People, and Revolve Clothing for the photos.

Monday, May 23, 2011

pretty things -- scalloped edges.
COVETING: 7 for All Mankind Halter Top; retail $165
I'm a big fan of halter tops -- I think that showing your back is such a subtly sexy way to show a little extra skin in the summer without being too revealing. This 7 for All Mankind one is colorful and has such fantastic shape to it. I love how the cinched waist echoes the tie at the nape of the neck and the thin keyhole and triangle-style front make for a unique neckline. This would be perfect with wide-leg jeans and wedges for night or denim shorts and gladiator sandals for daytime.

Once the weather turns warm, I'm immediately drawn to certain things -- strawberries straight out of the refrigerator, stretching my legs out in the sun, and soft, feminine styles. Scalloped edges are a perfect example. They're soft and add a sweet touch to any piece. I have a longtime obsession with these shorts but have recently branched out to discover the many flirty scalloped pieces that will fit in perfectly with the rest of my sweet summer wardrobe.,0&layer=comp&op_sharpen=0&resMode=sharp2&op_usm=0.7,1.0,0.5,0&fmt=jpeg
Ali Ro Sleeveless Scalloped Dress; retail $331
I'm hyper-obsessed with this fun frock. The tiers are absolutely adorable, the creamy color is perfect for showing off a light summer tan, and it would look perfect with brown wedges or nude pumps for a super ladylike look. I think that my favorite part, though, is how the cutouts somehow manage to achieve a look which is both sweet and sexy at the same time -- not an easy feat to accomplish.
Threadsence Minty Fresh Scalloped Shorts; retail $37
I just ordered these pretty mint-green shorts, and I couldn't be happier. They have such a pretty shape to them, and the color is so fresh and perfect to pair with sky-high nude pumps. Tucking in a sweet eyelet top seems to be the way to go in really driving the chic look.
Elizabeth and James Scallop Ring; retail $85
I love jewelry that mixes gold and silver on its own -- that way, I don't have to worry about a failed attempt. This ring has such a fun, unique shape with its swooped metal bar, and is a brilliant way to make scallops a little harder-edged.

Club Monaco Hazel Skirt
Club Monaco Hazel Skirt; retail $129
I have a serious love of Club Monaco pieces, and this perfect little mini is zero exception. I love the gorgeous tan shade and that it's silk -- light enough to help you keep your cool in the dead of summer. Brilliant when paired with an easy tank and a killer pair of bright, strappy shoes.

How are YOU wearing scalloped edges this season?
xo Josie
Thanks to 7 for All Mankind, Bloomingdale's, Threadsence, RevolveClothing, and Shopbop for the photos.

Friday, May 20, 2011

seasonal love -- bright shorts.
COVETING: Joie Cha Cha Floral Marmont Dress; retail $238
I have a sudden, inexplicable love of ballroom dancing. Actually, that's not quite accurate -- really, I have a sudden, inexplicable love of Dancing with the Stars. I don't have the coordination to prance around the dance floor with the grace possessed by Chelsea Kane, but I think that with its full, flirty skirt and bold print, this Joie dress would be the perfect start to what I'm sure will be my very long career in watching ballroom dancing on TV.

Shorts epitomize summer for me. That said, bright colors and cleanly tailored pieces also hold their place when it comes to choosing summer clothing. A good pair of shorts is a very, very hard thing to come by. They have to be fun and flattering, easy to dress up or down, and the inseam can't be too short -- or you risk looking like a 12-year-old.

Forever21 Linen Blend Button Tab Short in Pink (also in Navy); retail $14.80
As always, Forever21 has hopped in to save the day for me. This tailored-looking pair appears so clean, and I love how the bold neon shade makes them feel special and perfect for colorblocking. The slightly short inseam is offset by the linen-blend material and clean lines of the shorts. These would be phenomenal paired with nude pumps and a white button-down, but would be equally adorable with flat sandals and a simple cardigan.

What are YOU loving today? And have a fabulous weekend!
xo Josie
Thanks to Revolve Clothing and Forever21 for the photos.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

inspiration -- nautical notions.
ATTAINABLE: Alloy Saddle-Up Bag in Chestnut (also in Natural, Taupe, Light Gray, Black, and Bronze); retail $39.90
I've been looking for the perfect cross-body bag -- not too big or small with great details in a neutral shade -- and I'm utterly enamored by this one. The hardware and front pockets are fantastic, and the size is perfect. I love that this would be adorable with jeans and flats but isn't too casual to wear with a pretty sundress and sandals. The fab range of colors and superb price don't hurt either, of course.

It's hardly a secret that I adore all things preppy. And in the springtime, nautical is absolutely the way to go, as far as I'm concerned. Everything about this trend feels so fresh and clean. Better, it's easy to add little elements into your look so that you don't end up resembling an actual sailor. Rope details, lots of white, wide-leg pants, navy stripes, and knotted jewelry all appear fun and classy simultaneously and add the perfect details to any pretty look.

What's inspiring YOU today?
xo Josie
Thanks to Alloy and WeHeartIt for the photos.

Monday, May 16, 2011

summer for the type-a.

COVETING: Anthropologie Nepal Jacket; retail $118
Although the weather has finally taken a turn for the better in Minnesota, it's chilly enough that an extra layer is still necessary over dresses and paired with shorts. Personally, I can't think of a cuter way than this little linen Anthropologie jacket. I love the safari inspiration and adorable shape. The tied waist is perfect and the color feels perfectly fresh for the promise of sunshine ahead.

There's something about early summer that's hard to beat. Everything feels fresh and new, and the possibilities for how to spend the long, warm days are absolutely endless. Despite that I'm in college, summer still seems to begin when the school year ends -- and I'm officially in full "summer mode" starting today. However, I have a tendency to pack my days with work, blogging, and time with loved ones. These are of course all good things, but my love of lists compels me to make sure I don't miss a beat during this sunny season. So to ensure that the days don't slip by without my full appreciation, I've started a list of things that simply have to happen over the next three months.

1. Conquer the Shred just in time for bathing suit season.
2. Spend more time outside.
3. Purchase a pair of TOMS -- and wear them with everything I own.
4. Make a playlist of happy, summery songs (starting with this one) play it while driving with the windows down.
5. Make fresh lemonade.
6. Clean out my closet.
7. Wear an endless string of easy, breezy sundresses.
8. Jump in puddles when it rains.
9. Eat an insane amount of fresh fruit.
10. Take a road trip.
11. Keep my nails painted for more than a day (this is a struggle for me).
12. Master the Lauren Conrad braid.
13. Go to a Minnesota Twins game on a gorgeous night.
14. Eat outside at Salut -- my favorite restaurant.
15. Hone my photography skills.

What's on YOUR to-do list this summer?
xo Josie
Thanks to Anthropologie and Cupcakes and Cashmere for the photos.

Friday, May 13, 2011

warm weather ready.

Forever21 dress, belt, and ring, Qupid shoes, Longchamp bag, Coach scarf, American Eagle aviators, vintage earrings

I'm ready for summer. Enough said? When I saw this adorable plaid shirtdress, I was immediately reminded of this post at Cupcakes and Cashmere last year. It's one of my all-time favorite looks worn by Emily, and I decided to update it for warmer weather with a light belt, turquoise jewelry, and nude canvas-and-leather wedges -- my new absolute FAVORITE shoes. Now if only the sun would show its face...

And on another note, today is my last day of finals! It's time for a break, to say the least -- wishing you all a fabulous and sunny weekend!
xo Josie

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

obsessed -- eight sixty.
ATTAINABLE: Chloe Loves Charlie Crochet Shorts; retail $36
I'm absolutely CRAZY for Chloe Loves Charlie right now -- the brand makes such adorable, affordable pieces. These crochet shorts are easily one of my favorite items, if only because of how ridiculously summery they are. They remind me so much of Anna Jane's sunny yellow shorts and are so sweet and chic. Best of all, they'd pair so well with a simple tee and metallic sandals for a fun take on casualwear any day of the summer.

As I prepare for summer, I can't clear my mind of the desperate desire for pretty dresses and breezy tops. Light, airy pieces are exactly what I'm craving right now, and Eight Sixty is working to satisfy me. This contemporary brand puts out gorgeous, affordable, luxurious-feeling pieces that are stunning but easy to wear. Brilliant, on-trend, and so much fun -- just like summer.
Eight Sixty Floral Bohemian Blouse in White/Blue; retail $81
I'm. In. Love. This pretty, light top is so versatile and gorgeous for summer, and is more than a touch bohemian. This blouse would pair perfectly with all of my favorite pieces -- white pants, high-waisted jeans, denim shorts... Delicate jewelry, metallic sandals, wedges... Oh, my. I'm getting inspired just thinking about it.
Eight Sixty One Shoulder Dress; sale (now) $47.97
I love olive green. I was so opposed to it for so many years, but now I can't get enough of the color. My worries about it being limited to fall have been quelled perfectly by this pretty one-shoulder frock. The ruffle and waist details are perfect and draw the eye to the absolute best places.
Eight Sixty Ruffle Tank; retail $74
Navy -- what a surprise for those of you who read frequently. It's definitely one of my favorite warm-weather shades. I love this pretty shape and vertical ruffle, and the crossed back is so lovely. This would be perfect to tuck into a pencil skirt for work to transition easily into cocktail hour.

Eight Sixty Sequin Printed Mock 2-Piece Brocade Dress; sale (now) $68
When it comes to dressing up in the summer, I'm a big fan of anything super easy that doesn't feel too fussy. This dress certainly fits the bill with its tank-style top and short brocade skirt. I love how it looks like two pieces but is one simple throw-on piece that would pair perfectly with a strappy pair of sandals for a nighttime wedding.

What are YOU obsessed with right now?
xo Josie
Thanks to Chloe Loves Charlie, Revolve Clothing, Piperlime, and Shop Moderne for the photos.

Monday, May 9, 2011

good enough to eat -- gluten-free chocolate chip cheesecake.

I've never been a cheesecake fan, mostly because I don't particularly enjoy cream cheese. But I've been converted this year and desperately wanted to make one for a recent family event, at which there would be several gluten-free attendees. I'm not generally a from-the-box baker, but when it comes to gluten-free desserts, I have a constant fear of failure. Since I'm not a g-free cooking connoisseur like my pal Carrie, I turned to Betty Crocker for some help for the super-easy crust by way of this recipe, which made my first cheesecake a breeze. A decadent, delicious breeze that -- bonus -- can be easily duplicated for the gluten-eaters by using any regular chocolate chip cookie recipe as the crust.

So my food photography clearly needs some work... Anyone willing to share tips? And what have YOU been cooking up lately?
xo Josie

Friday, May 6, 2011

hitting the books + twenty.

J. Crew cardigan and tank top, J Brand denim leggings, All Black flats, Aldo bag, Merona watch, vintage bracelet and earrings, drugstore sunglasses

As I head into finals, I find myself consistently glued to the library -- and that means a serious need for comfortable clothes. I've never really been a sweatpants kind of girl to say the least, so welcome to my version of comfortable chic. Denim leggings, flats, ridiculously soft tank tops, and a long, cozy cardigan that can essentially double as a blanket when the library gets chilly and is warm enough to wear back to the dorm late at night. And the fact that this one is in my current favorite navy-and-white striped print is a huge bonus.

I'll be celebrating the big 2-0 at the library this weekend -- hope you all have more exciting plans!
xo Josie

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

chic on the cheap -- beach bags.$beauty$
ATTAINABLE: Fletcher by Lyell Canvas Scallop Sandal in Coral (also in Blue, Yellow, and Black); retail $39
I'm adoring these bright coral sandals right now. They're so chic and summery, and I love the intricate design. The caged style is super cute, and the ankle strap is nothing short of precious, perfect with the tiny wedge. These would be adorable with a pair of wide-leg jeans or a fantastic little sundress.

Beach bags are an absolute summer necessity. However, mine tend to be filled with extra bathing suits, damp, chlorine-filled towels, sand, and potentially-spillable bottles of sunscreen. It hardly makes sense for me to spend a lot of money on something that lasts only a season or -- at best -- two. Luckily, there are plenty of completely adorable beach bags out there, all for under $30. Brilliant.$pdp-265$
Women's AEO Striped Beach Tote in Blue (also in Pink); retail $29.50
This oversized beach bag is exactly what I need this summer. It will easily fit my four pairs of sunglasses, towel, two coverups (because you never know when you'll have to change), three pairs of sandals, and ALL of the nanny kids' stuff. And I love the leather touches on the handles; it adds a touch of luxe to the look. Even better is that this canvas bag can be easily tossed in the washing machine for a simple cleaning.
Merona Tote in Tan; retail $19.99
Good luck finding another bag this adorable and classic for $19.99 -- I adore. The shape is simple and perfect to pair with any look, and the leather trim adds a bit of class. And I love that the outer pocket will keep me from losing my phone and planner in the jumbled mess that I'm sure would comprise the inside.

Forever21 Large Polka Dot Handbag; retail $18.80
It doesn't get more classic than a simple black-and-white print, and the polka dots are so retro. I love the rope handles to add a touch of nautical and are long enough to easily toss this fun bag over my shoulder.

FEED Read 3 Bag; retail $25
I love the concept of giving back -- especially when it can be done through shopping. By purchasing this bag, you're providing three school meals and three language books to a child in a developing country. It's just a huge bonus that this bag is oversized, easy to clean, and has a funky, clever design. The definition of fashion you can feel good about.

How are YOU staying chic on the cheap these days?
xo Josie
Thanks to Urban Outfitters, American Eagle, Target, Forever21, and FEED for the photos.

Monday, May 2, 2011

gift guide -- mother's day.

ATTAINABLE: Emma Graham Emily Shorts; retail $72
After reading about Emma Graham over at Kathryn's blog, I knew that i had to check out the brand immediately -- and thank goodness I did. I love all of the flirty, feminine pieces, and these bright teal shorts are so chic. They're light and floaty and are so incredibly versatile. I love the gorgeous color -- these would be amazing with nude pumps or flat sandals and a pale cardigan. Perfect to set off a light tan.

My mom is awesome. No joke. She's smart, beautiful, classy, selfless, and has a way of making me laugh when no one else can. She has endless patience with me, and we have so much fun together when I'm home on school breaks. And she does so much for me and my siblings, including but not limited to:

- pretending she likes our childhood art projects (we're not what you'd all an artistic bunch; clay handprints are as advanced as we've ever really gotten)
- sending care packages for the most minor of holidays
- attempting many times to teach to me curl my hair (to no avail)
- filling the car with gas right before I get home
- cooking our favorite foods whenever we're home
- making us feel constantly special and loved

I'm sure that many of you feel the same way about your mothers. And with Mother's Day coming up next weekend, I'm on the hunt for a gift -- and it has to be PERFECT. Whatever your price range, I've put together a collage of gifts that any mom would love. They're no clay handprints, but I figure that at least my mother has enough of those lying around.

How is YOUR search for the perfect Mother's Day gift going?
xo Josie
Thanks to Emma Graham Designs for the photo.